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Washington Township Getty Closing This Month

Longtime garage operator Ted Foundopoulos will not be sticking around when the Getty becomes a BP.

A corporate bankruptcy has brought the end of the Washington Township Getty gas station and garage. The business will be shutting its doors by February 25, according to Ted Foundopoulos, the owner.

Getty Petroluem Marketing (GPMI), the company which Foundopoulos had contracted with to operate the gas station, declared bankruptcy December 5. As a result, he lost a $58,000 security deposit on the site.

Getty Realty, a separate company from GPMI which owns the property in Washington Township, signed a 15-year lease with BP for the site and 27 other Getty gas stations in New Jersey and New York.

Foundopoulos said BP offered him the opportunity to continue running the station for 14 months once they take over, but he would have had to pay another $30,000 deposit and still only make a 2 percent commission on gas sales, about $.07 per gallon.

"I'm not going to take their deal," Foundopoulos said.

According to Foundopoulos, the problem behind the whole situation lies with the large oil companies and a lack of government regulations to protect local business owners. The companies set the gas prices, rent and hours of operation local owners must use, but pay so little to them that some owners end up making less than minimum wage after all the expenses, he said.

"They don't care," Foundopoulos said. "They just want to work you to the bone. They're looking for cheap labor. Big business, big government and big petroleum are pushing the American working guy out."

Foundopoulos also said he was disappointed the government did not protect the local business owners like himself who lost their security deposits when GPMI went bankrupt.

"There is nobody out there that is doing anything about this," Foundopoulos said.

Once the Getty closes, Foundopoulos said he plans to take a month off to think about what he will do next, while also spending more time with his family following the recent death of his father-in-law.

He hopes to find a new location.

"I have a lot of people out there who have followed me for a long time, and I am grateful to them for that," Foundopoulos said.

Still, what's next for Foundopoulos is uncertain. He is limited physically since he had back surgery last June. There's also the issue of dealing with the large oil companies which have not treated him well so far.

"You're paying for your own job," Foundopoulos said.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

J. Allen Goas February 04, 2013 at 01:08 PM
What a loss for the township. I hope Ted posts his new location, so that all of his loyal customers can follow him. We wish him & his family and employees all the best.
dawn February 04, 2013 at 02:26 PM
We wish Teddy all the best in the future. He is a great Mechanic and an even better friend. He will do well where ever he decides to go. I hope the Township does not permit a rediculous canopy/convenience store, but who is to say. It seems to be all about the Benjamins these days.
B@B February 04, 2013 at 03:30 PM
I'm devastated...just devastated. I have relied on Ted for nearly a decade for his honest service and quality workmanship. Now I will be at the mercies of service writers at car dealerships who try to sell you a bunch of stuff you don't need because they make commissions on all of it. I hope that Ted can find a new location soon. He is a treasure and he has been treated shabbily by both Getty and BP. Until then, can anyone recommend another local mechanic that is honest and does quality work?
ted foundopoulos February 04, 2013 at 03:49 PM
to all my loyal customers i will be a phone call away for now and i will post my decissions. I would like to thank all for everything everyone has done to help me through the years and through your layalty
Kathy O February 04, 2013 at 03:55 PM
I hope Teddy and his family read this, as the only positive thing to come out of this travesty is that people are stating true and flattering things about someone who truly deserves them! What a loss for the area, and shame on so many BIG guys like Getty (for taking the $), BP (for demanding more $) and the SYSTEM for not protecting the little guy!!!!!!!
Ouija February 04, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Fairview Automotive in Westwood is great. (Check Yelp). It's a small, old school garage...no gas...on Fairview Avenue Very honest, good work, fair prices. J&F Auto on Railroad Ave. in Montvale is legendary in town. I went to them for years, even after I moved to Westwood. It's a bit of a drive but Jim is a great mechanic and again, super honest.
B@B February 04, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Great, thanks, Ted! Now just focus on your family and getting WELL. We will be here for you when you return.
B@B February 04, 2013 at 04:20 PM
I wonder...if we had a state Assemblyman who wasn't busy defending himself against criminal charges if he would have been able to exert some influence to do something for Ted and those of us who rely on him.
DES February 04, 2013 at 04:33 PM
It's a damn shame about the security deposit. It's not the franchisee's fault that the company is bankrupt. I hope Ted finds a way to get that money back! it's not exactly a small investment!!!! We have been using Getty since we moved to Westwood, Keep us posted Ted.
westwood kid February 04, 2013 at 05:40 PM
its a shame theat ted lost a lot of money but u bet when bp takes over they clean up that mess. the properity looks like a eye sore not clean and cars parked all over the place. he rents it out to landscapers who park dump trucks and contractors who park there. if i had to live next to that dump i would complain to the town. it makes the home values go down, bp will add nice new lights and pait the building up and add a nice new sign to the front of the station. its about time someone does the right thing and clean that sore eye up. good luck with future business adventures
B@B February 04, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Yes, and then we will I'm sure have a 24 x 7 convenience store and bright lights going all day and all night; that'll REALLY bring up property values. [/snark] I'm surprised you have so much trust in the company that pumped billions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Try buying some gulf shrimp sometime and look at what is in the vein when you de-vein them. Don't be fooled by BP's ads; the Gulf does NOT clean itself. What do you think BP is going to do with fuel spills in some pissant burg in New Jersey?
john c February 04, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Hi ted - We have been wondering what has been going on. this is terrible news and setting aside the big oil corporate crap which unfortunately you have had to deal with it is also another example of the complete mismanagement of the township of washington. No help at all for you from our local government. now they will likely fight for the next five years over BP's plans to likely make another giant mini mart right in our small town instead of your small place. it will undoubtedly be added to the list of the 5 star property disgrace and the Seasons tenements. i will never go there ever. John C
Ouija February 04, 2013 at 08:39 PM
Nothing is worse than a sore eye, for sure.
Daniel Chiriff February 04, 2013 at 11:45 PM
This is extremely upsetting to read. Ted was a good, honest boss and a really friendly and down-to-earth person. He definitely does not deserves any of what he's being handed by these big oil companies. It really is a shame that there is no government protection for someone in his situation. It just seems like a corporation is always going to give you the shortest end of the stick. I just hope the townspeople know to give the new BP as rough of a time as they have given our long-appreciated local mechanic, Ted.
B@B February 05, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Daniel: He still is a friendly and good, down-to-earth person. He's been screwed over by Big Oil, but he's not dead. :-) Let's just hope he lands on his feet soon. I know this townsperson has no intention of giving BP my business -- for a variety of reasons. This is just a capper on the crappy company cake.
Jennifer February 05, 2013 at 01:42 PM
Not for anything but if Getty wasn't approved for an over hang what makes you think the town is going to allow for a convenience store at said location? And an eye sore? Its a place of business with minimal parking. I'm sure you couldn't do a better job of keeping it organized as well as Ted and his employees did. I will never go to BP for gas. Such a shame. It felt like home every time I went to Getty. I feel Ted has done an amazing job in all the years hes been there. God bless him and his wonderful family.
21st century concerned citizen February 05, 2013 at 02:39 PM
I also was very upset to read this story on the patch. Ted is a good, hard working, business owner who is being forced out by a large corporation. Our politicians including our President keep saying that we have to support our small business community when in fact all of the politicians on both sides of the political spectrum only care about their own self interests and not the hard working man who is supporting his family. Ted is a terrific person and mechanic and I wish him the very best. Hopefully he finds a location in the Washington Twp or Westwood area and then we must all show him our support as he opens his new business
21st century concerned citizen February 05, 2013 at 02:48 PM
@westwood kid Either sounds like you aspire to have a job with BP or you are naive about business. The issue here is a small business owner who serviced his customer for many years with pride and excellence of work being forced out by a multi-billion $$ international corporation. To think that this international corporation is concerned about local homeowners is just plain naive. They care about profits and only profits. Ted was a pillar to not only his community but also to his church. He personally spent many hours in fundraising for the church school. Do you honestly believe that an international congomerate would support a local school? Again, this story is about Ted a small business owner being screwed by Getty oil and the countries bankruptcy laws. I view your posting as inappropriate as it has nothing to do with the issue at hand
21st century concerned citizen February 05, 2013 at 02:53 PM
@Ouija What kind of response is that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The story is about a smaill business owner Ted Foundopoulos and the loss of his family business. Recommending competitors is inappropriate. While the business's you recommend may do very good work, your response is a slap in the face to one of our communities well respected businessman and citizens. I fully support Ted and sincerely hopes he can find a nearby location so we can all support him
B@B February 05, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Jennifer: The town will allow for a convenience store at that location if the company is large enough. Look at how the owner of Seasons has held the town hostage unless he gets what he wants -- "Either I get a huge CVS like the one in Westwood or you will continue to have a blighted main intersection in town in perpetuity." Ditto for Sky Trading. As for those who think that Obama should be doing something about this, I have one thing to say: Seriously? Seriously? This is an issue for local governments, our state government, and our Congressman, who for a decade has cared not one whit about the little guy. Where was our mayor and council while Ted was being screwed out of his security deposit and kicked to the curb by Getty? For that matter, where was our Assemblyman, who never met a camera he didn't like? Bob Schroeder is a "son of the Township" -- yet he was nowhere to be found when a pillar of the community needed help. Where is Ernie Scott Garrett? Oh, right -- a small business isn't his constituent, only Big Business is. Take a look at how in the pocket of Big Oil our Congressman is: http://www.ontheissues.org/NJ/Scott_Garrett_Energy_+_Oil.htm Do you mean to tell me there was NOTHING the state could do to protect a local businessman? Do you mean to tell me that there was NOTHING Garrett could do? Did they even try?
B@B February 05, 2013 at 04:28 PM
By the way, all you people who think "less regulation" of big companies is the way to prosperity? Read this article and think again.
B@B February 05, 2013 at 07:07 PM
21st century: I agree with you 100%, and I'm a loyal customer who will follow Ted to the ends of the earth if necessary. But in the meantime, while he focuses on his health and family, we will still need car maintenance, especially those of us who have older cars. I don't know about you, but I got sick of dealers trying to sell me a bunch of repairs I may or may not need because the service writers get a commission on what they sell. I mean, seriously -- "Your engine block mount is cracked and your engine may fall out at any minute." Yes, I have heard this from a dealer. You can't trust them or believe them. We still need oil changes every 3000-5000 miles until Ted gets back in business.
21st century concerned citizen February 05, 2013 at 08:30 PM
@B@B The reason I mentioned the president in my remarks is the fact that Ted's deposit is tied up due to our Federal Bankruptcy Laws. Our Politicians again on a National and State level continue to talk about what they say is best for the citizens of this country including the small business owners. Ted is a victim of the Federal Laws as well as Getty.
B@B February 05, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Point well taken...but the federal bankruptcy laws are skewed towards big companies and the banks because that is who has bought our entire federal government. Alas, this government-for-sale reality is endemic in both parties.
Ouija February 05, 2013 at 09:05 PM
@ concernedcitizen - he asked, I answered. Jeez.
Maureen February 06, 2013 at 04:46 AM
I DON'T THINK HE COULD HAVE HELPED TED. REALLY?? HE'S DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE TO MANY PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES. For God's sake, what are you thinking?
Common Cents February 06, 2013 at 03:19 PM
The deposit should have been in an independent interest bearing account that was untouchable by anybody but Ted, unless there was a discrepency with in the lease agreement. Everybody knows the "security deposit" problems. Here is a prime example where somebody or something takes the risk of doing first and worring about the consequences later. And as usual, the legal team involved will be the only ones who make out on the deal. The bankruptcy laws are pathetic. Expecially in corporate America. The principals leave with pockets full and everybody around them suffer. Sort of like the too big to fail thing. If those could not reinvest their own monies in the company feeding them so long something is wrong. The little guy funded their lifestyle and yes they did pay back, but thier mistakes had no effect on how they lived. They never had to give up the good life while the little people lost jobs and lifestyles. Hence the law makers continue to protect their friends, the big money. Here is another prime example.
Joe Taxpayer February 10, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Bob- you seem to have all the answers on all the issues. Put your money where your mouth is and run for mayor. Maybe a little hope and change for the town ship.
Tracy Giesberg February 13, 2013 at 01:33 AM
Wow. Negative comments. Clearly you've never had your car serviced by Ted and the guys in which case you would feel completely different, no matter how it looked on the outside, which was rediculous to read. Ted was like a dad to me and so many others. I agree with 21st century, if he decides to open at another location, I'd also still support his new business. Love you Ted! Thank you for all the years of service right from the start of your career at the Getty Station <3
B@B February 21, 2013 at 05:39 PM
As Ted prepares to close up shop, I'd like to thank him once again for his many years of service to the Township and elsewhere. PLEASE keep us posted on your plans, Ted...we all look forward to your return, in whatever venue that is.

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